Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Kinda Hard to Believe

I read an  article today about two homeless, penniless men in Fresno, California who some how racked up 1,363 ambulance rides in 2011. Between the two of them, one a 41 year old who has serious issues with his liver, and the other who is supposedly seizure prone, they have cost the tax payers and government nearly $545,000 for ambulance services, and nearly that same amount for hopsital evaluations.

I read this in the Idaho Statesman, June 14th edition, under News of the weird.

Ok, lets break those numbers down. With two men calling the ambulance every day last year, you'd have a total of 730 rides. Somewhere along the line, these dudes must have rode more than once a day.

Each ride must have cost 500 bucks, which is really cheap unless you're not doing any meds or going very far. Humm, weird. Then with hospital evaluations, same deal. Who ever heard of only spending $500 on an evaluation, unless you're doing outpaitient care, not emergency rooms.

What am I missing, is my math wrong? Maybe just a nice little medical care at a walk in clinic would help the dudes. The article says  that neither the hospital or emergency room can refuse service to these cronic abusers, and the article closes saying, that the attempts to disuade them from the trips were futile or too time consuming for the emergency technicians to attempt.

Now for all us hard working Americans with out insurance, and not totally broke, you gotta wonder, what is the answer?


  1. I think there should be a co-pay requirement for Medicaid recipients, just as with other insurance. See your own doctor in office, free. Ambulance transport from home, $20. Emergency room evaluation/treatment, $20. Would discourage "taxi" use of ambulance and frivolous ER visits (runny nose, earache, "Don't feel good."

  2. But what of those who don't have a single dime? Apparently that was the problem here, not a single dime, and in cronic medical emergency?
    I agree Ellie, something has to be done, and the answers aren't easy.

  3. That's true. For the genuinely destitute, medical care and transport to it are essential regardless of their ability to pay. I was thinking more of ambulance abuse by people receiving public assistance who somehow have money for flat-screen TV's, cigarettes, and beer.